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Leawood

MAY 2017

LeawoodLifestyle.com

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Lifestyle Letter

Letter from the Creative Director

I

have had the privilege of having so many inspirational women in my life as role models, mentors and friends- women who build each other up and strengthen each other. As I reflect on the many amazing women who have touched my life and impacted me in so many ways over the years, I see the beautiful faces of so many friends, family, coworkers, sisters and neighbors. However, the one who stands out as the one who has shaped so much of who I am and what I strive to be like is my mother.

My mom has such a magnetic, dynamic personality that it is hard to even put into words all that she encompasses. She is a fireball of energy and is ready and willing to help anyone at anytime.  Growing up, she could make us laugh so hard our sides hurt in one instance, embarrass us with things like random pop-ins to fix our hair at school, and turn around and inspire us with her tenacity and passionate spirit. She raised ten kids, and upon my youngest brother going to kindergarten, she went back to school to earn her nursing degree and has been a hospice nurse ever since. She has taught me the lesson of compassion and selflessness as I watched by her example take in extra children in need to live with us from time to time, sometimes allowing them to live with us for years.  She opened her home for get-togethers with Sudan refugees, inner-city kids and really to anyone that we brought to her attention of needing a little help. On many occasions, lonely neighbors or a spouse of a past hospice patient would join our family for holidays because my mother wanted them to have a place to feel welcome. My mom has taught me the lesson of being giving and to give without hesitation. Not only does she give when it has been easy to give, but I watched her give when times were tight for us growing up, which was such a valuable lesson. She always found a way to serve and to give of herself and encouraged all of us to do the same and most importantly to put our faith above all else. I am beyond blessed to call her my mother and to have her as such a role model in life. This month is our women’s issue. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about some of the inspirational women right here in our community, each one making an impact in their own way.  Their stories definitely inspired me to do more. I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I did and that you feel inspired too.

MAY 2017 PUBLISHER

Matthew Perry | Matthew@LifestylePubs.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Angela Broockerd | Angela.Broockerd@LifestylePubs.com PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR

Paul Versluis | Paul.Versluis@LifestylePubs.com ACCOUNT MANAGER

Mary Beth Johnston | Marybeth.Johnston@LifestylePubs.com Frank Flores | Frank.Flores@LifestylePubs.com Danny Seay | Danny.Seay@LifestylePubs.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Adriane Taylor, Amy Appleton Dreyer, Lauren Korte, Ann E. Butenas CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Paul Versluis, Janie Jones, Tricia Baska with Snap Photography

CORPORATE TEAM | Steven Schowengerdt

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

CHIEF SALES OFFICER

| Matthew Perry

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER DIRECTOR OF MARKETING ART DIRECTOR OPERATIONS MANAGER

| Sara Minor | Janeane Thompson

EDITORIAL MANAGER EDITORIAL

| DeLand Shore | Brad Broockerd

| Nicolette Martin

| Victoria Perry, Lindsey Howard

AD MANAGER

| Chad Jensen

SENIOR AD DESIGNER AD COORDINATORS

| Megan Seymour

| Cyndi Harrington, Andrea Thomas Alicia Huff

LAYOUT DESIGNERS

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PUBLISHER SUPPORT

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EXECUTIVE ACCOUNTANT APPLICATION ARCHITECT WEB DEVELOPERS

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| Michael O’Connell

| Hanna Park, Scott Lavigne

Angela Broockerd, Editor Angela.Broockerd@LifestylePubs.com

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Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017

Tag us on Instagram at @KCLifestylePublication

Leawood Lifestyle™ is published monthly by Lifestyle Publications LLC. It is distributed via the US Postal Service to some of Leawood’s most affluent neighborhoods. Articles and advertisements do not necessarily reflect Lifestyle Publications’ opinions. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Lifestyle Publications does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. Information in Leawood Lifestyle™ is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed.


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May 2017

18 26 18 Inspirational Women of Leawood

Introducing local women of influence

26 Simple Elegance

Meet Kindra Browne

34 A Mother's Love

11

Around Town

14

Locally Owned

16

Local’s Choice

42

Trend Setter

45

Realty Report

46

Giving Back

48

Lifestyle Calendar

50

Parting Thoughts

An Adoption Story

42 Travel Edit

Departments

Girl's trip to Palm Springs

34 42

Lifestyle Publications Arizona | California | Colorado | Florida | Georgia | Idaho | Illinois | Kansas | Minnesota | Missouri | Montana North Carolina | Ohio | Oklahoma | South Carolina | Tennessee | Texas | Utah


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The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park invites you to our 10th annual summer celebration – Stems: A Garden Soirée – June 24 from 7:00 - 11:00 p.m. at the beautiful Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. This festive evening features fine wine, good food, music, and fireworks. Tickets and sponsorship packages are now available. Purchase your tickets today to attend this cherished event. Patron tickets include the invitation-only Patron’s Party, early entry into the Stems event, VIP parking pass, and your name printed in the Stems program. Presenting Sponsors: in partnership with the Regnier Family Foundations

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Around Town

AROUND TOWN

1000s of styles. 100s of colors. 25 brands 1 stylish you.

LOVE AND CONNECTIONS IN LEAWOOD On December 3, Erica Vlasic, of Leawood, married Matthew Zarse, of Lawrence, at The Church of the Nativity in Leawood. Almost everyone involved in making their wedding a wonderful day had a Leawood connection. The reception was held at The Venue in Leawood. Leawood resident Mario Brancato catered the event and his band, Flashback, kept guests dancing on a packed dance floor all night. The

photographer

who

captured

it

all with stunning photos, Andrea Nigh Musfeldt of Andrea Nigh Photography, is a Leawood resident, as well as the organist and soloist who provided the beautiful music at the church. Ashley Hotka of Good Earth Floral Design was the designer of the

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Around Town

(CON TI N U ED)

Don’t forget to join us for

WRINKLE FREE FRIDAY!

lovely holiday arrangements; she had also previously worked with the bride in the floral department at the former Leawood Hy-Vee. It was a beautiful wedding showcased in our wonderful community. Photography Andrea Nigh

HOOKED ON KIDS HEALTH TO BE HELD ON JUNE 4 Hooked on Kids  Health, a seafood feast and signature cocktail event benefiting Turner House Children’s Clinic will be held  June 4. The event featuring elevated Mexican cuisine will be held at Sturgis Materials, a trendy, urban location in Kansas City, Kansas. Funds will be raised for integrated health care, behavioral health and dental health care for

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children. Guests will explore the outdoor patio gardens, covered railroad siding dining area and caboose on the property, indulge in a seafood feast provided by nationally acclaimed chef Carlos Falcon from Jarocho and Jarocho South, bid on unique food and wine packages and enjoy refreshing signature cocktails served by celebrity bartender Darrell Loo from Julep. Leawood residents Andrea Thomas Ramsey and Stacey Homuth serve as event chairs. Online tickets are available at THCCKC.org or by contacting Sara Adams at sadams@thcckc.org, 913.342.2552, ext. 124

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Locally Owned

Leawood Entrepreneur

Arlene Ladegaard OFFERING CLASSIC AND TIMELESS STYLES

W

hen you first meet Arlene Ladegaard, principal designer and owner of Design Connection Inc., if you sense an upbeat, energetic, spirited, generous, fun-loving and engaging personality, then please don’t waver from that initial conclusion. Blessed with a keen eye

for design and an innate ability to understand her clients, Ladegaard presents as a winning combination of experience and passion for what she does, coupled with a solid grasp of how to precisely deliver results that transcend each client’s expectations. Undoubtedly, it is her crisp, timeless style that speaks to clients the most, remaining fresh with each passing year.

ARTICLE ANN E. BUTENAS | PHOTOGRAPHY PAUL VERSLUIS 14

Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017


Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ladegaard realized from an early age the professional path she wanted to pursue. “I knew I wanted to do this type of work when I was in the seventh grade,” she recalls. “At the time, my mom had redecorated her home

membership with the Leawood Chamber. Ladegaard loves assisting in local charity events in the Johnson County area. Add, tionally she is an active member of the local chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).

with the help of a designer and from that point on, I knew this is what

No matter what fills her days, Ladegaard continually keeps her fin-

I wanted to do. My mom let me decorate my own room when I was

ger on the pulse of a business she began nearly three decades ago that

12. I still remember the big bright floral wallpaper.”

has positively transformed the lives and homes of hundreds of clients,

The trajectory of her career initially took her to Stevens College in Columbia, Missouri, followed by studies in interior design at the University of Arizona and the University of California at Los Angeles.

creating polished spaces that are decidedly functional and beautiful. The reason for her tenacious drive is simple: “I love what I do,” she says, smiling.

She began her career in Southern California working for various

Design Connection Inc. is the only interior design firm in the metro

design firms before setting out on her own in 1988, establishing

area with an on-staff architect, a solid infrastructure and the resources

Design Connection Inc. Additionally, Ladegaard has lived and worked

and experiences to work with clients through all stages of design.

in Switzerland. She completed continuing education through the

Ladegaard and her team show up fully prepared so that clients are

Study of Architecture in Paris and obtained her California Certification

educated on the process and know exactly what is being delivered.

in Interior Design while living abroad.

“My job is to really understand what clients want and to be com-

When not moving at full throttle in her business, Ladegaard enjoys

pletely honest with them,” says Ladegaard, whose experience speaks

down time with her husband Ed and their two cocker spaniels, Ruby

volumes and for whom integrity, quality and value are clearly repre-

and Coalby, at their Leawood home. Among her favorite indulgences

sented in each project.

are spending weekends boating at the Lake of the Ozarks or just getting together with her kids and grandchildren. Giving back to the community is an integral part of Ladegaard’s life

Design Connection Inc. is an award-winning design firm located in

philosophy, and to that end, she has been actively involved for 18 years

Overland Park, Kansas. Arlene Ladegaard, principal designer, can be

with the Leawood Rotary Club. She also enjoys her long-standing

reached at 913.851.8776 or DesignConnectionInc.com.

May 2017 | Leawood Lifestyle

15


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Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017


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INSPIRATIONAL

W O M E N O F L E AW O O D

18

Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017


PHOTOGRAPHY PAUL VERSLUIS

Y

ou may know her as your sister, your mom, your friend, your daughter. She is the woman who thinks of others first and strives

to make a difference in the world around them, a woman who knows her true purpose with such confidence that she will influence generations to come by the example set forth. There are many inspirational women in our community, and here are just a few that we have the pleasure of introducing to you. CONTINUED >

May 2017 | Leawood Lifestyle

19


INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN (CON TI N U ED)

Kimberley Davis

Eva Reynolds

Kimberley Davis, a Leawood resident, has dedicated 25 years

Art has always been a part of Eva Reynold’s life. When Eva’s

to supporting high-risk, low-income families and their children,

Mother was just a teenager living in Poland she was on her way to

assisting homeless women with a history of chronic substance

become a promising artist. However, her whole  art  collection was

abuse and their children. As executive director of Amethyst

destroyed during the Nazi occupation, and she was never able to

Place, she is in charge of a highly innovative and successful

pursue her career as an artist.

approach to helping women with a history of chronic substance

Despite the difficult political instability of Poland in her childhood,

abuse and their children: intensive services with the unique fea-

Eva’s home was a loving and creative space with art books all around

ture of open-ended stays in fully furnished apartments.

the house. Her mother gave her the freedom to pursue her dreams,

Davis has worked with low-income families all of her professional life.

perhaps that she never could realize for herself. She attended the

“At Amethyst Place, I am absolutely in awe of what it takes

Art Institute in Poland and eventually earned her Masters of Art from

to recover from the abuse and neglect many of these women

UMKC. This resulted in a lifetime vocation and appreciation of art, and

have suffered," Davis says. "Add to that an addiction, and to

this passion has impacted the art community in KC.

overcome all of that, it's the most incredible thing I've ever seen.

There is a vibrant arts community in the Kansas City area, and Eva feels

The women who are in recovery, really in recovery, are some

privileged to be on the board of several different civic and philanthropic

of the strongest women I've ever met. They feel good about

organizations. A few include the International Sculpture Foundation where

themselves and are committed to creating a better life for their

world-class sculptures are made accessible to the public.

children. I'm honored to be a small part of that.” She believes the success experienced at Amethyst Place is a result of believing in the women they serve. Barriers are removed that often make it impossible for these women to move forward with their lives.

She is also involved with Vanderslice Committee and Fireside. Both organizations support the Kansas City Art Institute, as well as helping raise funds for scholarships. Her involvement with Kansas City Young Matrons has allowed her

Davis also cooks meals for Uplift, a not-for-profit with vans that

to get involved with Marrilac, where she gets to work with children on a

go out into the city and feed homeless people and is also a volun-

variety of art projects to encourage creativity and free thinking. “Seeing

teer at Operation Breakthrough.

their happiness and realizing that a small amount of time can make such a huge difference in a child’s life is extremely rewarding,” says Reynolds.

20

Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017


Andrea Thomas Ramsey Andrea Ramsey is president and board chair of Turner House

Ramsey believes that “to those to whom much is given, much is

Children’s Clinic, a safety net clinic for children in Kansas City, Kansas.

expected.” She has gathered support for Turner House through her

She has served on the board for the past eight years. Because of her

many community networks. Under the direction of Ramsey, many

leadership and passion for providing quality health care for under-

Leawood residents are now board members, committee members,

served children, both of her children have been inspired to volunteer

generous donors, volunteers and friends of Turner House.

many hours at Turner House over the years. Under Ramsey's leadership, Turner House has expanded. It has

“I am humbled by the power of my Leawood neighbors’ social conscience and generosity of spirit,” she says.

partnered with the University of Kansas Health System to create the

Leawood Rotary partners with Turner House to provide sweat

Wyandotte Community Health Center. The center is a partnership of

equity at the clinic, and has been a strong supporter of Turner House

three local safety net clinics, a refugee clinic and maternity clinics,

over the years. In turn, Ramsey volunteers with Leawood Rotary at

operating together to expand access to high-quality medical, dental

Bishop Ward High School—which is very close to Turner House—in a

and behavioral health care.

mentoring program for college-bound juniors and seniors. Both she

“The work is tremendously rewarding," Ramsey says. "I can actu-

and her husband, Wil, have volunteered at Bishop Ward for years,

ally see, in real time, the difference my volunteer work makes in the

proudly watching their students—many first-generation—graduate

lives of our Kansas City community. What is better than that?”

from the program and head off to college. CONTINUED >

May 2017 | Leawood Lifestyle

21


INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN (CON TI N U ED)

Barbara Cusick Barbara Cusick’s spirit of giving, volunteering and her dedicated leadership touches many lives through a wide variety of organizations. She gives many hours of service and leadership to better her community and those that live in it. She is a master relationship builder, sharing her enthusiasm and passion with conviction and dedication. Cusick supports youth development organizations, educational institutions, social service charities, medical missions and more. She always demonstrates a faith-filled sense of mission, a calling to serve others.

Ann Carter

Cusick has been a patron, activist and leader in the Boy Scouts of America, Heart to Heart International, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Blue Valley Recreation. She has chaired many galas and led and supported successful fundraising campaigns for a

Those close to Ann Carter describe her as unleashed enthusiasm that

variety of organizations including House of Hope,

gives unselfishly to her family and community. She is an active member and

Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, Young Matrons Homes

volunteer of Church of the Resurrection and her efforts to help in any area

Tours and many others. Cusick serves on the Shawnee

of need is never a question. Carter is a lay leader for the Education Outreach

Mission Health Board of Trustees, the board of the

Ministry, and her role is to coordinate the activities of the liaisons who repre-

Foundation for Shawnee Mission Medical Center

sent the six schools in the urban core, through Kansas City Kansas, Kansas

and the board of directors of the American Asian

City, Missouri and Olathe school districts. The ministry provides backpacks

Chamber of Commerce. She has previously served

of food for weekends for the kids, 150 tutors for students in need, vision pro-

on the boards of Heart to Heart International and the

grams, a bookmobile providing free books, visiting authors, school supplies,

Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

reading programs, behavior incentives and a whole host of other programs to support the staff and provide essential items for the students.

In 2014, she founded the Dr. J Douglas Cusick Medical Mission Endowment at the Foundation for

She is also part of a committee which directs over 500 volunteers in an

Shawnee Mission Medical Center. The endowment

outreach called Bless the School. For the last 11 years, this outreach has

funds medical missions, both surgical and primary

renovated an urban school, painting, cleaning and installing playgrounds.

care, including equipment, medications, supplies and

Carter oversees a committee of 20 volunteers and drivers who provide

scholarships for nurse participants and other Shawnee

food to homeless students through the Kansas City Missouri school district on a weekly basis. She has tutored at Hope Center for nine years and provides them with home-baked cookies for their Christmas parties. “There are hundreds of people who make all these ministries possible. Without their support, none of this would happen,” Carter says. "If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. Romans 12:7." She knows not a stranger and gives expecting nothing. She is a treasure to those who know her and to those who will wonder “who made that happen?” 22

Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017

Mission Health associates.


May 2017 | Leawood Lifestyle

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Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017


SIMPLE

Elegance

MAKING A DREAM A REALITY PHOTOGRAPHY PAUL VERSLUIS

CONTINUED >

May 2017 | Leawood Lifestyle

27


SIMPLE ELEGANCE (CON TI N U ED)

K

indra Browne, founder of SimpIe Elegance, began her career in the wedding industry in 1996 when the need to find something she could do on her own

while balancing the demands of raising a family was her reality. “I have loved weddings since I was a little girl and used to play wedding with my dad as he would pretend to walk me down the aisle in our long hallway at our home. That is probably when my inspiration began,” Browne says. “It is truly woven into my being, and I love crafting and creating memories with each couple and their families. It fills my soul!” Browne first began to stand out in the industry because of her warm approach, creativity, attention to detail and genuine interest in helping people's wedding stories come to life. She began to build a team to expand her business in 2001. Because her services were so sought after in the KC area, she needed a team to help keep up with the growth. She now has eight wedding planners and a social media marketing manager on her team, and that in and of itself says a lot about why Simple Elegance is different. They plan many styles of weddings where the couple is always the focus. When asked about how she manages it all with a successful career and a young family, she said setting priorities and boundaries are the keys to making it all work. “I had to let go of the fact that there is no such thing as balance," she says. "I wouldn't be where I am today without the support of my family, my husband and the incredible group of women who work for me.” Her advice for local female entrepreneurs is to surround yourself with those who understand what you are trying to accomplish. Having a support group especially when you have a family is the key to success. Pace yourself and give yourself permission to learn as you are going along. Browne shared a glimpse of her creativity with us in a beautifully styled wedding shoot that was set at Bourgmont Vineyard, an event space coming to Johnson County very soon. The vineyard will offer a large home for guests to stay in over the weekend they are planning the wedding, a large, newly designed

Rings by Vanbrock

28

Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017


equestrian facility that will hold 350 guests, lots of outdoor areas, a lake and, eventually, an even larger event space that can house up to 600 guests. Brent Bergman and Kim Johnson of Bergman Landscape Architecture designed the event space, and they thought of every detail. “I was inspired to create an ethereal setting using deep, forest greens and bringing in lilac to infuse lightness throughout. I love creating depth with color and then bringing in lighter shades and classic patterns to showcase the color scheme," she says "The bouquets, boutonniere, trees, candles, greenery, gold touches and floral centerpieces that included green grapes, deep greens, succulents, lilac and tulips were truly breathtaking and captured the essence of the vineyard and the ethereal overall feel I wanted to create!” She mixed and matched the chargers and linens to bring different sheens to the guest tables. Lilac was brought in with the high boys linens to pop the color in the reception area even more. Finally, the gold-rimmed glasses and gold cutlery added the finishing touch and another level of elegance light and shimmer.    For the wedding party, Browne wanted light, fluid movement for the wedding dress and the bridesmaid’s dress. The bride wore a gown by Emily Hart Bridal and is part of the Emmaline’s Bridal 2017 Storyline separate collection. The deep V back was beautiful and brought dramatic, yet simple lines to the bride’s style.  The lilac bridesmaid dress by Bella Bridesmaid was soft and ethereal in its movement. Surrounded by the red bud trees with hints of lilac, gold, greenery and candlelight, the bridal party looked to be floating in elegance at the altar that was placed under the large chandelier in the center of the barn. “I love paper so I had to have beautiful invitations and menu cards that would bring together the design at each place setting," Browne says. B/P Creative mixed a soft, classic lilac pattern, placed it on top of ivory heavy paper stock and added emerald handpainted edging to finish the look. The gold foil monogram was placed on top of the pattern to add the final touch.   CONTINUED >

May 2017 | Leawood Lifestyle

29


SIMPLE ELEGANCE (CON TI N U ED)

“I love crafting and creating memories with each couple and their families. It fills my soul!”

30

Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017


Kindra Browne of Simple Elegance Photo by Adrienne Maples Photography

CREATIVE VENDOR TEAM VENUE-Bourgmont Vineyard DESIGNER/PLANNER-Kindra Browne, owner of Simple Elegance Wedding and Event Planners PAPER PRODUCTS-B/P Creative Group HAIR AND MAKEUP-Reflections Salon FLORAL DESIGN-Sidelines Floral Design RENTALS-All Seasons Event Rental BRIDAL GOWN AND JEWELRY-Emily Hart Bridal BRIDESMAID DRESS-Bella Bridesmaid TUXEDO-Houndstooth RINGS-Vanbrock CAKE-McClains Bakery MODELS-Bride-Lauren Burke Olsen

Bridesmaid-Neelie Browne and Groom-Patrick Quinn of Voices & Models

May 2017 | Leawood Lifestyle

31


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Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017


Wed, May 10th at 6:00 PM

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Photo by Snap Photography

34

Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017


A Mother's Love

An Adoption Story

ARTICLE ADRIANE TAYLOR | PHOTOGRAPHY PAUL VERSLUIS AND TRICIA BASKA OF SNAP PHOTOGRAPHY

There are stories of motherhood that sit deep in the soul, Photo by Paul Versluis

grapple with emotions and send waves of inspiration that challenge everything known about a mother’s love. For Julie Chamberlin and Jenise Miller, their story encompasses this but is also one wrapped in faith, hope and sacrifice. It is a story worthy of praise and a tale of motherhood that truly defines love without limits.  

CONTINUED >

May 2017 | Leawood Lifestyle

35


A MOTHER’S LOVE (CON TI N U ED)

Photo by Snap Photography

36

Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017


Family has always been an ideal embraced by Chamberlin. Growing up in a fam-

she felt was a grim picture. Miller knew the system was

ily of 12, she was acutely aware of her desire to have much of the same. She got a

not working in her favor and came to the realization that

glimpse of her future at the age of 10 when she recalls God spoke to her heart that

she needed to find another way.

she was going to have a black son. Chamberlin was both enthused and confused by this revelation and filed it away in her mind.

“If I could describe how I felt walking through the process of adoption, picture me sitting in a dark room by

In 2007, she married her love, Austin, and their hopes of a growing family began

myself and God being the small dim light bulb hanging

to take shape. But as with many things in life, their wishes would not come easily,

from the ceiling," Miller says. "I did not want Troy to go

and the Chamberlins’ beliefs were put through the most grueling of tests—a five-

through the mud with me, and I knew breaking my back

year trial that included four miscarriages, two of which occurred within one year.

was still not going to be enough. God said to me, ‘There is

Chamberlin began to feel as if her maternal aspirations were fading and on her

another way. Look at yourself. Why don't we find a really

birthday, July 8, 2012, while in the depths of her grief she bought a journal.

nice family for Troy?’ It was bittersweet.”

“It was at that time that I asked God to take my pen and write my story,” she says.

watched her own mother, who was 14 when Miller was born, work tirelessly to

And this is when simultaneous destiny brought them all together.

provide for her family. Miller was a stellar student and wanted nothing more than

CONTINUED >

And in true miraculous fashion, God was ready to write a masterpiece. Miller’s testament reveals a different reality. Growing up in Kansas City, Miller

a future that would relieve her family of life’s pressures that made upward mobility a struggle. But then, during a time when Miller felt adrift, she discovered she was pregnant, and her childhood came to an abrupt end. On March 1, 2011, 16-year old Miller gave birth to Troy. She recalls having Troy was the most treasured part of her life. Still, there were nights they cried together, unsure what the future would hold. The judgment she faced only added to what

Photo by Paul Versluis May 2017 | Leawood Lifestyle

37


A MOTHER’S LOVE (CON TI N U ED)

Chamberlin was an adoption caseworker at The Lighthouse, an agency specializing in adoption and assisting women in parenting. Although she worked with infant adoption on a regular basis, personally, she had always had a heart for older children in the foster care system and most of her life believed that one day she would open her home to an older child. Miller had never considered adoption while pregnant but understood that in order to give Troy what she wanted him to have most, happiness, she would have to allow a loving family to embrace him. On July 10, Chamberlin received an e-mail from her mother that she had been praying for her and that she felt God tell her that her daughter would be a mother and would be a mother very soon. This confused her because she was going through a miscarriage that week.  Two hours later, Chamberlin received a call from a private adoption lawyer that told her about a 16-month old boy named Troy and his mother who were seeking an open adoption. Although Chamberlin had been approached about other children on several occasions before, this felt very different. She felt a stirring in her heart to meet them. July 13 marked their first visit and by July 22, Troy was placed in the Chamberlins' arms. Through tears, Miller knew they had all found the perfect match. It felt like destiny and God’s plan for Troy’s life was beginning to unfold. Those closest to the Chamberlins describe the immediate and complete joy that Troy brought to the family. “I don’t think I will ever forget the beaming smiles on their faces that they wore constantly for months. After watching them go through so much heartache, the pure joy and gift of Troy to this family was so evident,” Julie’s mother says. Photo by Paul Versluis

38

Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017

Photo by Snap Photography


Photo by Paul Versluis

Photo by Paul Versluis

The attachment was very natural for Austin, Julie and their new son, Troy. He was

Today Austin and Julie Chamberlin have been blessed

the perfect fit for their family, and the bonding was immediate. The Chamberlins

with another son while Troy proudly wears the crown

could feel God’s hand in the whole thing and knew the extended families of all

of “big brother.” As for Miller, she is building upon her

involved were praying for the transition and for Troy’s heart, and those prayers

dreams by attending college and wants to communicate

were answered. Troy is confident in his family, is very protective of his mom and is

one last thing to all mothers considering adoption:

proud to be a Chamberlin. He loves his story.

"Don't be afraid. The only thing that matters is the

“The open adoption has been a very healthy and beautiful experience. It does

well-being of your child. Children are brought into this

not take away from the fact that I am his mother. He knows the difference, and it’s

world with love and forgiveness in their hearts, and

joyful. It’s not broken but feels whole,” Chamberlin says.

even though Troy isn’t with me physically, I still feel

There is no formula for adoption but, for this family, the method is close to

him. I feel his love like he is right by my side. So let God

seamless. This does not mean that there are never any tears shed, as Chamberlin

guide you and keep an open mind and an open heart."

expressed her heart broke for Miller’s sacrifice, but both believe there is a certain

“His love of his birth mom does not take away from

joy and beauty in being adopted. Chamberlin believes it brings an acceptance

his love of me,” Chamberlin says. “It has allowed him

that everyone has been adopted by God.

to know his heritage as well, and he is able to see his

“With every visit, I receive a little kiss from God reminding me that I am still his birth mom. In the beginning, there was a lot of bitter and the end, lots of sweet,” Miller says. Their adoption has reinvented what family means and exemplifies a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning. Together, they have

whole story.”

This is motherhood.

successfully established an open communication and rich family traditions. May 2017 | Leawood Lifestyle

39


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Realty Report

Leawood Realty Report

Neighborhood

List Price

Sold Price

%Sold/List

DOM*

Beds

Baths

LEAWOOD COUNTRY MANOR

$2,750,000

$2,750,000

83%

210

5

5.3

SIENA OF LEAWOOD

$2,375,000

$2,200,000

92%

133

5

5.3

HALLBROOK

$1,875,000

$1,787,500

95%

11

4

4.3

LEAWOOD ESTATES

$995,000

$940,000

94%

108

5

4

HIGHLANDS CREEK

$899,900

$860,000

95%

32

5

4.2

HALLBROOK

$870,000

$851,200

97%

1

5

4.2

ROYSE

$749,950

$730,000

97%

123

4

4.1

HIGHLANDS RANCH

$699,950

$670,000

95%

117

4

3.1

LEAWOOD

$699,950

$662,500

94%

77

4

2.1

THE WOODS VILLAS

$655,000

$630,500

96%

10

4

3.1

Information compiled is from Heartland Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and includes properties listed and sold in the area from multiple brokers. Statistics from 3/1/2017-3/31/2017. DOM=Days on Market.

May 2017 | Leawood Lifestyle

45


Giving Back

The Single Mom KC T

he Single MOM KC (TSMKC) is a nonprofit organization that uses the gift of hospitality to create a

welcoming and safe environment for single mothers in the Kansas City metro area. They offer love, support and guidance through the following: • Monthly workshops • Quarterly seminars • One-on-one mentoring • Family-fun activities • Networking with other organizations and ministries • Newsletters, blogs and social media Their mission is to bring hope to single mothers by removing shame and reproach, to transform the negative statistics that surround single-mother families and to educate others to effectively strengthen and support single-mother families. TSMKC also operates a clothing boutique, called Clothed with Dignity, which offers single mothers the “boutique experience” they deserve. Clothed with Dignity is open three times a month and allows single mothers to select items of new or gently used clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories at no cost.  VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:

• Volunteer at the clothing boutique to help clean and sort items and assist single mothers while they shop. • Volunteer at seminars and workshops to help with registration, clean up, meal serving or child care. • Volunteer to help with the organization’s general administration needs, such as inputting data, filing, etc. • Donate new or like-new clothing, handbags, shoes and accessories to the clothing boutique at any time. • Consider TSMKC in your charitable giving. You may donate to the organization directly at any time, attend a fundraiser—contact them for more info—or consider the nonprofit when selecting a charitable organization to support in lieu of receiving gifts.  CONTACT INFO:

• Email: info@thesinglemomkc.org • Facebook: Facebook.com/TheSingleMomKC • Website: TheSingleMomKC.org • Phone: 816.838.2072

46

Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017


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Lifestyle Calendar

May

MAY 6 BATTLE 4KC: STARWARS CHARITY EVENT BERKLEY RIVERFRONT PARK Battle4KC combines the annual Star Wars celebration “May the 4th Be With You” and Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month for a day of fun. Guinness Book of World Records will officiate as attendees raise their lightsabers in an epic “Life Saver” battle. Enjoy a concert by the Phantastics, costume contest, live broadcast from SciFi4Me.com,

MAY 4

collectible museum, and much more. Tickets $10

A FUN EVENING OF ART, FOOD AND MUSIC TO BENEFIT COTTEY COLLEGE

MAY 6-7

CBIZ, COUNTRY CLUB PLAZA

STRAWBERRY SWING INDIE CRAFT FAIR,

Affinity Enterprise Group is sponsoring an art auction to benefit Cottey

SEVENTH ANNUAL SUMMER SWING

College. Register at Event-Imagineers.TicketLeap.com/Art-Auction/.

ALEXANDER MAJORS HISTORICAL HOUSE

AffinityEnterpriseGroup.com

Come enjoy hundreds of handmade and vintage vendors, food trucks, live music, kids crafts, photo booth and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 6

MAY 5-6

and 7. TheStrawberrySwing.org

SPRING PLANT SALE OVERLAND PARK ARBORETUM AND BOTANICAL GARDENS

MAY 20

There's no better way to support the Overland Park Arboretum &

KANSAS CITY CACTUS AND SUCCULENT SOCIETY

Botanical Gardens than to shop the spring plant sale. Special em-

DISPLAY AND SALE

phasis on native, butterfly and pollinator plants with knowledge-

POWELL GARDENS

able gardeners on hand to assist shoppers. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 5

The Kansas City Cactus and Succulent Society is dedicated to pro-

and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 6.

viding an education platform for people to share information about growing succulents. Join them in the Grand Hall for educational infor-

MAY 6

mation and a plant sale featuring a mix of cacti and succulents.

FUNGI AND FERMENTATION FESTIVAL POWELL GARDENS

MAY 21

This all-day festival celebrates mushrooms and beer providing

THE FOURTH ANNUAL KC TIMBER CHALLENGE

opportunities to learn about and enjoy these tasty items in a va-

ZIP KC

riety of ways. Listen to live music and taste chanterelles prepared

Unleash your inner beast and get ready for obstacles including giant

by Barb the Gardener. Visitors have the opportunity to sign up for

monkey bars, 80-foot vertical bluff climbs, ravines, 3-story hay bales,

a beer-brewing class and can also learn how to cook with mush-

rappelling, mud pits, cargo nets, zip lines stretching over 300 feet, yeti

rooms. Contact:816-697-2600

hurdles, mud galore and much more.

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Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017


THE PERFECT MARRIAGE OF SAVORY AND SEXY.

Reserve our private dining spaces for rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, bachelorette parties and more. Our event planner will handle all of the details to make your celebration unforgettable.

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May 2017 | Leawood Lifestyle

49


Parting Thoughts

Scrub

l i l n a a O V r ange Su Y I D gar

C

reate your own DIY sugar scrub for a perfect Mother's Day gift for the women in your life.

To make one 8 ounce mason jar of vanilla orange

sugar scrub, you need:

Soften the coconut oil in the microwave for a few seconds. Next add the vanilla extract and the orange essential oil. Then, stir in the sugar, a little at a time. Print off a fun label or attach a ribbon to the jar, and your gift is ready.

1/4 cup of coconut oil 3/4 cup of sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 10 drops of orange essential oil.

50

Leawood Lifestyle | May 2017

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Leawood May 2017  

May 2017 Issue of Leawood Lifestyle

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